Unless you own very few assets and have little in your bank account, you need to consider protecting the assets that you do have.
Asset protection is wide ranging and can help you in many ways: whether you wish simply to protect your house and money in the event of your death, or you need extensive help because your wealth is complex and cross-jurisdictional – you need to take firm, effective steps to protect your wealth from potential financial predators and claimants.
Asset protection also enables you to make your wealth work more effectively for you, and to ensure your loved ones who you want to benefit from your money assets do so – or will do in future.
Protecting a risk
Asset protection is simply utilising effective ways to protect your wealth, particularly against creditor claims. Those that could make a claim against you include business acquaintances, the tax authorities, judgment debtors, greedy spouses and ex-partners, and potential beneficiaries on your death.
By restructuring your assets now, you can effectively protect yourself from claims in the future. If you leave it until a claim arises, it may well be too late. Importantly, if you try to rearrange your wealth if and when a dispute or claim arise, you could be at risk of a criminal fraud investigation.
Suppose, for instance, you’re in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and your ex-spouse is determined to take you for everything they can get. You jointly own the matrimonial property and you own a second property outright. However, you decide to quickly transfer your share in the matrimonial property, and the second property, to your adult son to prevent your spouse getting their hands on them. Unfortunately, this will not work: the courts will overturn the transfers and the property will be treated as matrimonial property for the purposes of the financial claim against you.
However, by taking early action – before any potential claim arises – you can effectively protect your assets from action by your spouse.
Making your wealth work efficiently
You can make your wealth and assets work as efficiently as possible by taking steps to protect your assets. For instance, restructuring your assets may make them increasingly tax efficient by minimizing your potential income tax and/or capital gains tax liability. Depending, of course, on the nature of your assets and your goals, we may advise you to let us set up offshore or other specialist trusts for you, or creating an International Business Corporation, or making use of insolvency vehicles.
You may also need to make a will to ensure your chosen beneficiaries will inherit your estate, and to minimise your potential liability to inheritance tax on your death.
Onshore and offshore
Whether your assets are domestic, such as your Canadian bank account or your home, or assets held abroad – there are effective ways in which we can help to protect your assets. We are cautious to ensure our asset protection practice does not breach tax evasion rules, taking particular care where offshore asset protection is advisable. You can rest assured that we do not open our clients up to investigation and prosecution as a result of protecting your assets.
How can we help?
Our asset protection lawyers are highly experienced in both onshore and offshore jurisdictions. Our practice head, Andrew Rogerson, is an internationally known, award winning asset protection specialist barrister with many years’ practical experience in offshore jurisdictions.